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Askew Review 15

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Get An Oxygen Tank! (Bridge Nine)  Many may find it truly effortless to strip down hardcore bands as one-dimensional and too predictable. They obviously have overlooked bands like Mental. Generating quite a hype that they blend NYHC and Old Boston hardcore with almost everything else is far truer than it is as an attractive publicity slogan. Borrowing (I use the term ‘borrowing’ lightly as Mental meshes everything together to create a more distinct sound than their predecessors) the styles of Slapshot and forging it with the twists of Sick of it All and Cro-Mags, gives an idea of what Mental comes across as. Mental even throws in an ample portion of DC hardcore legend, Minor Threat. Drawing from these hardcore icons, one would think this band has perfected the ideal album. Much to my dismay, I was sadly disappointed with the result. While the lyrics (the usual topics, anger and disgust at the world) do not display great intellect, the music is straightforward as it was intended to be. This is music to dance to, and if you look at it as anything more, then you are missing Mental’s point entirely. The singer is the primary reason for my lack of total endorsement of this record—he sounds like he swallowed a wedge of Swiss cheese and is trying to sing through one of the holes, as his shouting is muffled and at times gurgling. Also, the songs are mostly under a minute long, which isn’t enough time to get rough in the pit with. As of now, I am undecided on my stance on this record. If you can look past the vocals and focus on the music, then this album is top notch. However, if you are one who is picky with vocal ability (as I am), then be cautious. –Mike Blanks



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